I am passionate about clothes (well, obviously). But I also have a particular appreciation for stylish men, and it’s great to see that Brighton’s Platinum Club (of which I am a member) certainly has its fair share of them. They say clothes maketh the man, and that’s certainly true for Kevin Duala, Relations Manager at Overline.
I sat down with Kevin recently, to hear more about his unique style and what inspires him.
Professional with a twist
Kevin takes dressing very seriously – it’s important to him and supports his multifaceted role at Overline, which involves meeting clients, generating business and training staff. But his passion for looking good started years ago. He says, ‘My Dad always said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. He instilled in me that no matter where you go or what you’re doing, make sure you look presentable.’
Kevin likes to look sharp at the office. He told me that in previous jobs he wore what he wanted, but didn’t feel ‘ready to work’. So he took his casual look of dark jeans and a jacket, and elevated it. His style has evolved, and he’s now much sharper – he knows it helps him to be taken more seriously.
But Kevin also likes to add a twist to professional look. His signature item has become his knitted ties. The Overline team often tease him, saying ‘Kevin’s got a sock on again today’ but people notice, and they remember him as a result.
You may find it surprising that Kevin often buys from secondhand shops, picking up vintage ties, pocket squares and waistcoats. His suits are from M&S or Debenhams, but he always gets them altered to fit exactly the way he likes – he never settles for a poor fit. Jackets must be tapered at the waist, trousers must be slim-fitting and resting on the front of his shoe, and his tailor helps him achieve this. In doing so, Kevin personalises his look without spending a fortune.
Kevin says, ‘I love being original. None of my clothes are designer or flashy, but they are unique to me. And I’m good at finding classic pieces. I recently bought a camel cashmere overcoat from Rokit vintage clothing in Covent Garden. It was absolutely huge on me, but my tailor altered it to fit perfectly at the fraction of the cost of a brand new coat.’
Kevin’s rules for dressing:
- don’t settle for ‘that will do’ – get things altered to fit properly
- be original and express your personality
- think beyond the high street – look in vintage, charity and secondhand shops (and online) to create your unique look